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Venezuela tried to get Garin Cecchini drunk

Venezuela is very serious about their baseball tournaments.


Garin Cecchini is one of the Red Sox' better prospects. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, and has shown developing power, advanced plate discipline, and high-quality baserunning leading up to what might be his breakout campaign this year. Before all that, though, he was a high school player for Team USA, traveling the world for an international tournament.

Said international tournament took place in Venezuela, where the restaurant that Cecchini and his Team USA teammates ate at every day attempted to give the home team an advantage before the USA - Venezuela match-up. Evan Lepler, the announcer for the High-A Salem Red Sox, coaxed this story from Cecchini recently:

GC: I'll tell you a cool thing -- well, it's not cool -- but it was our fourth game in Venezuela. We played like Argentina and a few other teams and beat them all. And then we played Venezuela on the fourth day. We always ate at the same exact restaurant every single day. We had this awesome fruit juice that they gave us for lunch. It was a 7 o'clock game, so we went and ate lunch their [sic] again, and then we were gonna head to the field. And Sean Coyle can vouch for this story. We got our food and we got our drinks, and I was ready to down my drink, and right when I'm about to down this fruit juice, I just smelled like 100% alcohol. Tequila, or I don't know what it was. But they spiked our drinks before the Venezuela game with alcohol.

Cecchini goes on to say that he passed up the drink to evade the drunkenness planned by the Venezuelan restaurant. It seems like a devious plan on paper, but given the game was at 7 and they were eating lunch, it's hard to think that, even if they had drank the spiked juice, Team USA would have still been drunk by game time. Then again, given they were all teenagers, maybe the restaurant was hoping to give the underage team a nasty, Tequila-induced headache just in time for first pitch.

Despite the machinations of the eatery, Team USA went on to beat Venezuela and everyone else in the tournament. If in the future, however, you see opposing players look a little tipsy during high school tournaments against Venezuela, we'll know just what happened.